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The only 2016 college free agent to make Bengals season-opening roster, Erickson broke out in the latter part of the campaign and led the AFC in kickoff return average (27.9), posting second-highest number in Bengals history ... In preseason, excelled as a kick returner and had two TD catches ... Joined Wisconsin’s prominent football program as a walk-on and wound up leading the team in receptions in each of his last two seasons.
Career transactions: Signed with Cincinnati as a college free agent on 5-6-16.
Three-times-65: Erickson’s 27.9 kickoff return average in 2016 included three returns of 65 or more yards, a season-first in Bengals annals. Erickson had a 65-yarder on Oct. 30 vs. Washington, an 84-yarder on Nov. 14 at the N.Y. Giants and a 72-yarder on Dec. 18 vs. Pittsburgh. When Adam Jones set the Bengals KOR average record (31.3) in 2014, he had returns of 97 and 80, but no others more than 43. When Tremain Mack averaged 27.1 yards in 1999, now No. 3 in Bengals history, he had returns of 99 and 72 but no others longer than 55.
2016 general: Played in Games 1-16 ... His 27.9 kickoff return average trailed only Minnesota’s Cordarrelle Patterson (31.7) in the NFL, and he was more than five yards better than the second-place AFC qualifier, former Bengal Brandon Tate of Buffalo at 22.8 ... In addition to his kickoff returns, had 28 punt returns for 7.0 average, plus six receptions for 71 yards.
2016 game-by-game: Caught first career pass Sept. 18 at Pittsburgh, a 20-yarder that converted a third down to keep a Bengals FG drive alive ... On Oct. 30 vs. Washington in London, his 65-yard kickoff return to Redskins 36 set up a first-quarter TD ... Set up a TD with an 84-yard KOR to open second half Nov. 14 at N.Y. Giants longest Bengals KOR since 2009 ... Returned four kickoffs for 25.5 yard average Nov. 27 at Baltimore, and helped set up a TD with seven-yard reception to Ravens three in third quarter ... Had 16-yard catch Dec. 4 vs. Philadelphia ... On Dec. 11 at Cleveland, had 16-yard catch, three punt returns for 15.7 average and three kickoff returns for 17.7 average ... On Dec. 18 vs. Pittsburgh, had 72-yard KOR and finished with 33.2 average on five returns ... Led NFL in preseason with 30.8-yard punt return average (six attempts), including 80-yarder for TD in debut vs. Minnesota.
College: Played three seasons (2013-15) at Wisconsin, with a redshirt year in 2012 ... Saw action in 40 games (28 starts) ... Redshirted in 2012 after joining the program late as a walk-on ... Played on teams that went an aggregate 30-10 ... In 2015, helped lead team to 10-3 season with Holiday Bowl win over USC, logging team-high 77 catches ( second-most in school history) for 978 yards ... Also had 111 rushing yards in ’15, on just seven attempts ... In 2014, had 55 catches for 772 yards and three TDs, helping team to 11-3 season that closed with Outback Bowl win over Auburn.
Personal: Hometown is Darlington, Wis. ... Attended Darlington High School, where as a QB he rushed for 3856 yards and 57 TDs while passing for 3648 and 37 TDs ... Also played DB in high school, logging 14 INTs and 170 tackles, and was named Small School Player of the Year as a senior by Wisconsin State Journal ... Three-time all-state selection in basketball and also earned four prep letters in track and field ... Graduated in December 2015 from Wisconsin with degree in agricultural business management ... Married (wife Kelsi) .. Hobbies include golf.